Latest Environment Agency guidance on waste from Covid lateral flow tests.
Is your Care home Waste Management Plan safe and legally compliant?
Read our short article to find out what you need to do.
The UK Government introduced in February this year visitor lateral flow testing within care home settings in its fight against the pandemic to protect care home residents, their families and staff. These tests are used to detect COVID-19 in a rapid and timely manner, providing a test result within 30 minutes.
Your waste management plan needs to keep you and your residents safe and protect you from further outbreaks of the virus. To achieve this, it is vital that this waste is disposed of safely, securely and compliantly to avoid cross contamination and any spread of infection.
This waste is being treated differently than your other healthcare waste, so it’s important to understand what you need to do to remain compliant.
How is waste from the Covid Lateral Flow test kits classified?
The waste produced from Covid testing kits is classified under the EWC code which specifies offensive waste and non-hazardous chemical waste. This means that it can only be treated at specialist facilities permitted to take these types of waste and the waste hierarchy must be followed. Here is a link to the guidance on classifying and separating the waste.
How should your testing waste be stored?
This waste should be separated from all other waste streams and stored in a secure location as follows:
- LFT testing cartridges, swabs, vials, tissues, absorbent pads (non-hazardous chemical waste) must be stored in yellow or clear/neutral bags, with NO clinical or hazardous markings in a secure container/bin.
- All PPE offensive waste (Aprons, masks, gloves) must be stored in yellow tiger bags in a secure container/bin.
- All packaging can be stored in your normal black/recycling municipal waste bin
Under appropriate measures guidance, offensive waste can be stored for 7 days outside in a secure container/bin.
The above first two waste streams will need specialist treatment, meaning traditional disposal routes are not an option, with the exception of the packaging waste.
How can a waste provider like LES help?
Our expert team will guide and advise you through the waste legislation and put a plan in place with your existing waste plan to ensure you are compliant and safe. We can supply bags, secure bins and all the necessary paperwork together with dedicated collections for this specialist waste stream at a competitive price. We deliver a personal service where you will have a dedicated account manager at the end of the phone to answer any questions or queries.
Find out how LES can help you prepare for your testing. Get in touch with our COVID waste Management team by giving us a call on 01772 885100 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org